A Chard delivery driver who was more than three and a half times over the drink drive limit told police he had a claw hammer with him in case he needed it to defend himself.

A witness told the police that David John Andrew Hull appeared to be drunk and when officers found him in his vehicle he failed a breath test.

He then confessed he had a “little weapon” in his vehicle and a search revealed a claw hammer which he claimed he was carrying to prevent him from being robbed like a fellow colleague.

Hull, 44, of High Street, pleaded guilty to being in possession of a claw hammer in a public place on May 10 and a further allegation of drink driving when he appeared before Somerset Magistrates at Yeovil.

Prosecutor Ben Winzer said that when a member of the public approached the police in the street they said the defendant appeared to be intoxicated and was going to drive his vehicle.

“When the officers approached the defendant they could smell alcohol and when he was breathalysed at the roadside the reading was positive,” he said.

“When asked if he had any weapons in his possession he said he had a little weapon in his car and the police found a claw hammer.”

Hull said he had it in order to defend himself if the need arose after a colleague of his was robbed.

He was arrested and taken into custody where a further breath test revealed a reading of 126mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg of alcohol.

“The defendant said he was still in control of what he was doing adding that he had all his faculties but was maybe not as sharp as he should have been,” added Mr Winzer.

Sam Morton, defending, said that Hull admitted he did have issues with alcohol and had consulted his GP about the situation.

The magistrates adjourned the case until July 26 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared by the Probation Service. They released him on unconditional bail and imposed an interim driving ban.